Moon and Sixpence, Hablis

Started off 10D quite a few years back, then Winchester a few months back and now Moon and Six Pence joins the club of 'English' inspired pubs in Chennai, though this is a little Irish! Not very far away from each other and I haven't been to Ireland, so I wouldn't know. They got the ambiance right, though it is not as luxurious as Winchester, the theme is just about perfect with a bar and a lounge area that sort of bring in the 'English' feeling! I am presuming that Irish is similar. I heard that they even shipped some wood from Ireland, though I am not sure of that and would like to ask the owners sometime if that is true! However, moving away from Chennai tradition and the one thing that makes it 'more English' than the rest is that there aren't any club rules and stags are welcomed with a smile. Don't know how long that will last, but as of writing, it applies.

What was a tea drinker doing at a pub? As part of a big of Chennai Food Guide's team invited to spend the evening at MSP (Can't type the name everytime, sorry), we had an enjoyable night that invariably happens when you have great company of friends meeting after a while. While the 'drinkers' went crazy on Baileys and other 'liver enhancing tonics,' the only drink I had, pineapple with coke was very bitter the first time with an overload of lime, but the bar tender quickly corrected it and gave me a good one the second time.

But of course I was here for the food. Started off with two soups, a prawn bisque and a vegetable broth and both, though not very rich in flavour were just about right for a soup. A very innovative drink was the mushroom cappuccino, a coffee with mushroom which I thought was excellent. A little more flavour of coffee and it would have been outstanding.

The fish part of the Fish n Chips, the hallmark of any 'English' place was off the mark and was woefully low on the batter. The chips part was excellent, not just in this dish, but in every dish that had chips. Triple cooked, I think and hand cut, I loved them. The Lamb Pie was another excellent dish with fantastic flavours and a super smooth mashed potato on top and I wonder why they didn't serve us a Shepherd's pie, but this one made up for it. The lamb stew, served with a little rice and a reduction sauce was another dish that I thought was quite good, though a few other didn't like it.

The evening had its share of not so great dishes besides the fish part of fish n chips. I did not like the salmon, the chicken lollypop type thing that was served with a different flavour, the open ravioli among other things. The mini lamb burgers would have been excellent if the buns were good, but the buns were dry and a little hard, but with excellent patties. We finished off with desserts - a Bailey cheese cake that had no flavour of Baily, but was tasty as a cheese cake and a rather different apple pie which had very little apple flavour, but tasted excellent. Desserts need to be renamed.

With more than a few wonderful dishes and a very good ambiance, this is not a bad place to visit when you're the 'side dish eating shark who doesn't drink,' but I wouldn't mind going here just for the food once in a while. I don't know if the promoters of the place will like that though!! But a little work on the food and this place can give any restaurant a run for its money.

Moon and Six Pence is on the first floor of the new Hablis hotel, Guindy, a little away from ITC Grand Chola.